The best cafés around the University of Toronto

An oasis tucked away from the busy din of its surrounding streets, the St. George campus of the University of Toronto offers an easy excuse to while away a day admiring its stately green spaces and age-old architecture. You’ll also find some of the city’s most charming cafés in the area, perfect for a study session (Wifi included), some pre-class reading or a caffeinated catch-up with a pal. [Photo: latte at Voodoo Child]

Voodoo Child - Espresso & Cocktail Bar

1
388 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1S7

Don’t ask for a drip: espresso is the name of the game here, and it’s as serious as a heart attack. Offering micro-batch roasts from local TO bean burners, as well as some choice cuts from other caffeine-addled epicentres like Vancouver, Portland and beyond. Ask the barista about the daily brew’s tasting notes, and pair it with some of the baked goods on offer. Check out the namesake drink Voodoo Child, a machiatto made with crème instead of milk, giving it a sweet, sultry finish that’ll stay with you all day.

Almond Butterfly Bake Shop & Espresso

2
100 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G6

Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean flavour-free. Exhibit A: Almond Butterfly’s supremely satisfying cakes, cookies, loaves and pies which, despite their gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free sensibilities, are some of the best baked goods we’ve ever crammed into our gaping maws (we’re especially partial to the vegan chocolate espresso cupcakes). This Harbord and Spadina haunt makes a mean espresso too, roasted locally by the good folks at Social Coffee and Tea Company.

Diabolos' Coffee Bar

3
15 King's College Cir, Toronto, ON M5S 3H7

Student-owned and operated, Diablos’ will be the best grinds you find within campus grounds. Located in the Junior Common Room, (just ask where the JCR is) coffee here is served black, hot and fair-trade, but the lattes and cappuccinos are up-to-snuff too.

Dark Horse Espresso Bar

4
215 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2C7

As Toronto as Drake’s turtlenecks, and as warm and inviting too, this locally-owned caffeine-slanging chain serves deep, flavourful espresso drinks that are consistently on point. They have a custom espresso from one of Ontario’s best bean roasters, Detour, which is dark, flavourful and the perfect pairing for the tastebud-triggering house-made brownies.

B Espresso Bar

5
111 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1S2

Sleek, shiny and the most Europe-y café on the list, the espresso here is elegant and crafted with an Italian-level of fanaticism. The wraps and paninis go way above-and-beyond your standard tasteless takeout lunch and there’s more biscotti than we ever knew existed. Located within the Royal Conservatory of Music, don’t be surprised when you’re rubbing elbows with some of the city’s most acclaimed, (albeit perhaps overcaffeinated), composers.

L'Espresso Bar Mercurio

6
321 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1S5

We might be going out on a limb here: but this may be the only café on the list with a vintage car parked a few steps away from its inside counter. If the vintage Fiat doesn’t tip you off, this café offers Italian-style espresso and snacks with an epicurean flair. Whether you’re sitting down for a long overdue coffee date or grabbing an expertly crafted Americano to-go, Bar Mercurio is where in-the-know U of T-ers get their daily fix.

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